Does Amazon use VMware?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a wide range of cloud computing services, including infrastructure, platform, and software services. While AWS has its own virtualization technology with EC2 instances, many customers also run VMware workloads on AWS. So does Amazon use VMware internally?

Does Amazon use VMware?

Amazon relies heavily on open source and Linux infrastructure, using custom-built software optimized for scalability and cost savings. Most core AWS services run on Amazon Linux, though Amazon has not publicly revealed if they use VMware vSphere or other VMware products internally.

AWS and VMware have had a strategic partnership since 2017 to make it easy for customers to run VMware workloads on AWS infrastructure. The partnership includes VMware Cloud on AWS, which enables hybrid cloud deployments without having to purchase custom hardware.

As leaders in cloud computing and virtualization respectively, AWS and VMware deliver value to millions of customers worldwide. By understanding their individual strengths and how they complement each other, we gain insight into the technologies powering the modern internet.

Key Takeaways:

  • Amazon utilizes Linux, open source software and custom solutions optimized for the cloud.
  • While not confirmed, it is unlikely that AWS uses VMware internally for their core services.
  • AWS and VMware have partnered closely since 2017 to enable hybrid cloud for joint customers.
  • Together AWS infrastructure and VMware virtualization provide flexible cloud solutions.


Amazon Web Services dominates the public cloud market, relying on scale, cost efficiency and custom solutions tailored specifically for cloud infrastructure. VMware leads the private cloud and virtualization space, with vSphere powering data centers across industries.

Their strategic partnership demonstrates how leaders can create win-wins by playing to individual strengths while enabling flexibility through open ecosystems. Customers can now choose the best of both worlds in crafting their own hybrid environments.

While Amazon likely leverages open source and Linux for most of their back-end, they enable customers to run VMware workloads through this partnership. Together AWS and VMware provide businesses of all sizes with secure, cutting edge cloud computing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is VMware?
A: VMware is a leading provider of cloud computing and virtualization software and services. Its key products include vSphere for virtualizing compute infrastructure and the VMware Cloud portfolio for building hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

Q: Does AWS run on VMware?
A: AWS infrastructure runs on the custom Linux-based Amazon Linux OS. However, customers can run VMware workloads on top of AWS infrastructure utilizing VMware Cloud on AWS.

Q: Why did AWS partner with VMware?
A: The partnership makes it easier for customers to migrate VMware workloads to AWS to create hybrid environments that leverage both platforms’ strengths related to infrastructure and software services.

Q: Does VMware provide the cloud computing services offered by AWS?
A: No. VMware focuses on virtualization software while AWS provides a wide array of infrastructure, platform and software cloud computing services for compute, storage, networking, databases, analytics, etc.

Q: What AWS and VMware services can be used together?
A: Customers can deploy VMware’s software stack on Amazon EC2 virtual machines or use VMware Cloud on AWS dedicated bare-metal infrastructure. These provide hybrid options to integrate AWS services.

Q: Is the VMware ESXi hypervisor used within AWS data centers?
A: ESXi is VMware’s bare-metal hypervisor installed directly on physical servers. AWS uses a Xen-based hypervisor customized for their cloud infrastructure not ESXi.

Q: Do any AWS services run on vSphere?
A: AWS has not revealed if they utilize VMware vSphere or other VMware software internally. It’s most likely their core cloud services run on customized Linux-based solutions uniquely optimized for cloud.

Q: Can AWS and VMware Private Cloud be connected?
A: Yes, customers can connect AWS Virtual Private Clouds with VMware-based data centers using direct connect or VPN networking to enable application migration and hybrid environments.

Q: Is VMware more cost effective than AWS for cloud computing?
A: VMware software and private clouds, built on customer-owned hardware, can provide greater configurability which may translate to cost savings depending on workloads and scale. AWS offers unmatched operational cost efficiency with cloud-optimized infrastructure.

Q: Is VMware Cloud Foundation available on AWS?
A: Yes, VMware Cloud Foundation is the core software platform for VMware Cloud on AWS, enabling customers to easily deploy vSphere clusters along with other VMware stack tools on dedicated AWS hardware.

Q: Can AWS Outposts run VMware workloads?
A: Yes. AWS Outposts offer AWS compute and storage on-premises, with support for running VMware Cloud as well as native AWS services for truly hybrid environments.

Q: What is AWS Nitro and does it relate to VMware?
A: AWS Nitro is hardware offloading and security acceleration supporting their underlying hypervisor. Beyond drivers, it does not integrate directly with VMware software.

Q: Do AWS and Azure support VMware equally?
A: Both AWS and Azure strategically partner with VMware for hybrid cloud. AWS may have an advantage currently with more mature VMware integration, including dedicated hardware via their VMware Cloud on AWS offering.

Q: Can VMware Cloud workloads be live migrated to AWS?
A: Yes. Applications running in VMware Cloud on AWS support live migration of virtual machines to instantly move workloads between hosts for maintenance or scaling using vMotion.

Q: Is VMware NSX firewall used within AWS?
A: While customers can deploy VMware NSX software firewalls on AWS, AWS manages native security controls not reliant on VMware NSX internally for their cloud infrastructure and services.

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